The Sandoval Signpost (Web edition) is pleased
as punch (diet punch that is) to bring you the humor
and insightful human observations of Daniel Will Harris,
author of My
Wife and Times. —Ed].
By Daniel Will Harris
It all started with a giant chicken. I am not
making this up. If I hadn't seen the 12 foot tall fiberglass
chicken, things would be much different today.
On the way to do some shopping I saw the giant chicken, in
a giant coop, next to a little antique store.
As we whizzed by, I said to my wife, "Did you see that
giant chicken?" Looking back it's amazing that she just
said, "No, where?" as if giant chickens were perfectly
natural. I told her that it was at an antique shop we'd passed
hundreds of times and she said, "I've always wanted to
go there, but they're always closed. You want to turn around
and go back?"
Well, see, right there I should have sensed trouble. My wife
does not believe in turning around. I have never understood
why, but whenever I say, "I can turn around" she
says, "Never go back." It's one of those things
that, from the tone of her voice, I've never even questioned.
If I'd stopped and thought, then I'd have realized I was
making a u-turn into the Twilight Zone. I turned around in
the driveway of a store called "Artsy Fartsy," (I
swear I am not making this up, which makes it all the scarier).
We parked right next to this shop, which is never open, and
oddly, it was open. Another clue that something was wrong
that I stupidly didn't see. And I should have known better,
too, because this whole little area has weird vibes. A few
years ago, just across the street from where we parked, there
was an old store that one day went from being a shack to a
palace, with bright Christmas lights all over, thousands of
them, blinking all the time. We'd drive by at 2 am and it
would be lit up, flashing, and open. It was very enticing,
glowing as it did. We jokingly referred to it as, "The
Gates of Hell, Always Open!" And we wisely never stopped.
But in the bright daylight, nothing seemed odd about a 12
foot chicken by the side of the road. It was like one of those
horror movies where the people in the movie think everything's
perfectly normal, and everyone in the audience is screaming,
"Don't go in! Don't go in!"
And like the idiots in scary movies, we went right in. I
asked the price of the giant chicken and was told it wasn't
for sale. Of course not, this evil chicken was placed there
solely to lure poor unsuspecting eccentrics who, for some
unknown reason, thought it might be fun to have a giant chicken
on their driveway.
I added my name to a long waiting list of people who have
probably all suffered something unspeakable by now. I even
supplied my phone number—who knows what horrors await
me from that. Heavy breathing. Calls from telemarketers during
meals. I don't even want to think about it.
We started to walk back across the gravel parking lot, and
no sooner did I have the key in the car door when I heard
my wife screaming, "Oh no! Oh, oh, oh!" I ran over
to find her lying on the ground, writhing in pain, a cloud
of dust swirling around her.
I looked for a giant chicken footprint next to her. But no,
these giant fowl are too clever for that. I saw a truck backing
up and wondered if she'd been hit (she's always walking behind
cars that are backing up and I'm always telling her not to)--but
maybe the chicken had just made it look that way!
I wanted to threaten the evil fowl with a box of Shake 'N
Bake, but I had to get my wife in the car before it returned.
I helped her up, but she couldn't walk and was in so much
pain she couldn't talk, either—so I didn't know what
really happened. I put her in the back seat with her feet
up, and she told me to go get ice.
Even with ice, it wasn't long before her ankle looked like
she was wearing a bagel anklet. Two x-rays later I was informed
that would be months until she could walk normally again.
As the doctor said, torn ligaments can take longer to heal
than a clean break. What a cheerful little earful he was.
So the moral of this? Loose gravel and holiday shopping can
be hazardous to your health. Shop online (and when you do,
learn from what the sites you visit do right—and wrong).
And enjoy everything you can—even simple things like
being able to walk. And finally, think about having a really,
really big chicken at your next holiday meal. That'll show
them who's boss.